My diet is pretty good, 80% of the time. I mostly eat Paleo, or ‘eat clean’, no processed food, no nasties, no ready meals, no cereals, or bread or white pasta carbs. Sounds boring? It’s not! It is actually rather damn tasty – why not try my egg muffins for breakfast, minestrone soup for lunch and paleo lasagne for tea? While I have my recipes down pat, I do admit that my cooking technique leaves a little to be desired. I like butter. I like oil. I can’t do with fads like coconut oil or avocado oil, they make food taste weird. I like proper fat, proper flavour, proper gravy made with all the good stuff left in. I don’t cook clean.
I think I was possibly French in a previous life, or a cat, I’m always catching Lily the kitten trying to get at the leftover cooking juices… Ahem. Basically, what I am trying to say as however much green & paleo friendly food I put into me, I know that I go beyond a little bit of what you fancy a little bit too much – it’s not good for me. All the Blogilates videos in the world aren’t going to slim down my thighs or get rid of my pot belly if I don’t cut down on the good stuff. So, less oil, less butter… *cries*.
We all know that olive oil is top of the tree when it comes to healthy cooking fats, those Mediterranean folks aren’t the healthiest people in the world because they eat all the feta cheese. I just don’t need to slather it on everything… steaks on the griddle, chicken roasted with oregano, pork chops with a balsamic glaze… oh god this is a heartbreaking post to write. At least I don’t put olive oil on bacon. Oh that’s right, I cook my eggs in it.
Is removing fat from cooking actually an option? Tefal think so (here comes the sponsored bit, come on, stay with me, you will all want to try one of these babies after you’ve seen it) and they challenged me to use their new Tefal Optigrill to cook clean for a week. They say – one grill, no oil, perfect grilled meat, fish & veg. I said – challenge accepted. The TLDR the rest of this post? Well a) It works, b) I was impressed, c) I feel healthier already, it is perfect for the Paleo diet and d) you really do grill without fear!
Look what I cooked…
- The Optigrill is a big piece of kit. I have had to find a whole cupboard to keep it in, special attention in my tiny kitchen.
- The cooking plates are huge – check out the size of those rump steaks.
- You don’t have to stand and watch it. Switch it on, set your programme (steaks, chicken, fish, bacon or the manual setting) do stuff until it beeps, put your food on, wait until it beeps it is ready. It is that simple. I didn’t believe it though and spent a lot of time trying to encourage it. Sit down, have a glass of wine.
- It is programmable to exactly how you like your food cooked. Unless it’s chicken. No one wants raw chicken. It comes out perfectly juicy.
- You don’t need any oil. Just salt & pepper or any flavourings you fancy.
- Bacon is amazing.
- You can cook things from frozen, like sausages. They take an age (like an hour!) but if you’ve forgotten to sort tea out again it is a life saver. Frozen fish for example would be much quicker.
- Steaks are cooked pretty good, but you will miss that caramelised taste you get from a griddle. Maybe that is me missing the oil.
- It takes a long time to cool down, but the griddle plates are dishwashable, the little tray to catch the juices is not.
- That little tray – love it – get those good bits into a pan quick to make a lovely peppercorn sauce. Or not if you are trying to be healthy like me.
… and on manual you can make the best cheese toasties I have ever had in my life. B agrees.
So not paleo, but so good.
80% of the time, 80% of the time, I’ll just keep repeating that to myself.
Thanks to Tefal who sent me an Optigrill to review. If you fancy one yourself, they retail at around £150 in the UK from normal sources.